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If the Germans had held on to Stalingrad, how could that effect the war?

Discussion in 'What If - Mediterranean & North Africa' started by C.Evans, Feb 2, 2001.

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  1. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Dear Miro: Well said and im in agreement in most of what you said. What (and i'm not trying to say anyone is wrong because these are merely only our opinions) I am also trying to give the Russians credid for what they did achieve.

    What is hard to swallow on this one is: The 6th Army was one of the most powerful of all German units of that size. It had many very capable Generals and officers except of course the lacky Paulus.

    Had Hitler had some common sense, he should have had someone of Manstein or Rommels calibre as the Fuhrer of 6th Army. I keep stressing Rommel because, also of how popular he was at that time. Had Rommel been in command of 6th Army and had disobeyed hitler by pulling back his lines (not that I think Rommel would have allowed things to deteriorate to the point that his command would be like it really was under Paulus.

    Rommel could have "pulled some rabbits out of the hat" more than a few times, and could have prevented such losses as that actually happened.

    What I like about the "What if" is that anything could have happened. You deal about seeing it as Hitler saw it, I totally agree with you on. I think it was I that made the mistake in thinking that you were talking about it through the eyes of the Generals.

    Had these things happened and with Rommel in command, I find it hard to think that the Germans would still have capitulated only a month or so later. Had the Germans pulled this one off, the propaganda value would be so high that it would be hard to imagine what impacts it would have.

    Lord knows the Russians really got a bang out of their propaganda. I'm also beginning to see that the whole story like about the sniper Zaitsev, was nothing but a pure propaganda play for the purpose of restoring the Russians sagging morale.

    I'm not saying that the Allies would not eventually have won the war-especially since we were the only ones with the "bomb". I hate the thought of it having been "tested" in Europe.

    PzJgr made an interesting point that got me started on this rant. If 4th Pz Army or 6th Army had (this is after all is said and done with to do with restoring and securing the situation on the Ost front) been sent to Normandy to bolster the position there, the fight would have been much tougher and longer for sure.

    The forces available there were enough to handle the situation and fling the Allies back into the sea, but of course Hitler was the only "true" tactician and only HE knew what was correct. Had he kept his fingers out of the cookie jar, its not hard to imagine the D-Day landings would have been a disaster for the Allies.

    Which brings me to point out that Italy would have been the most suitable place to try a second invasion of Europe. This would also have been the long way to victory-at a much higher cost and in the longer run.

    I could percieve that Germany could have had a possible peace without being totally devestated. This all depoends though on the fact that we would NOT have dropped the "bomb" in Europe, and if these other factors had come into being.

    Now to counter myself and from the Allies point of view. I know that the Allies would not settle for anything less than total capitulation of Germany. No less than "Unconditional Surrender".

    Now then if these things happened and these things were all in Germany's favor, and if the war had been drawned out into an extra say 2 years. It's likely that the Allied alliances could have been torn to shreads.

    England was almost worn to a frazzel and almost bankruped if not actually bankruped. Russia was hurting badly, and about the only ones capable of really continuing the struggle for much longer; would have been the USA.

    I know we could not do it all our selves and we needed the Brits and Russians. The French would have certainly been the first to "bow out", as they were just barely trustworthy as it was.

    What a crazy war that would have been at any rate. Sorry for such a lengthy agree and disagreement. I didn't want to sould like I was lecturing you. I guess it was another of my "mad moments"

    Whew.
     
  2. Miro

    Miro Member

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    I agree with you too, and I apologise because I didn't notice either that you two were trying to see the whole situation from a Generals point of view. Our arguments are al right from the respective points of view, and we all agree that the 6th army COULD have been saved, had it been for a more resolute general, and not the staff officer that Paulus was (he was actually a great staff officer, but his slavish belief in the chain of command made him a terrible field commander, uninspiring and indecisive).

    I know this might be a bit off topic, but it would be interesting to hear, what you would have done from a Soviet generals point of view, lets say you were Yeremanko (Com Stalingrad Front), Rokossovsky, or Zhukov.
    The Germans have battered your troops heavily, but you have vast reserves. Now its November and your enemy suddenly turns and retreats to a defensive line. What would have been the Soviet options in such a case. Would you try and sit tight through the winter, thus giving the Germans time to reorganize and plan another offensive in the next spring. Or would you attack with undermanned armies in order to push them back a little bit and maybe gain some valuable ground again?
    Personally, I think I would have tried to save up my reserves, train them more, while at the same time constructing defenses around all important towns, like Stalingrad, Voronezh, Astrakhan, Tula, Orel, etc.
    The Soviets had realized by 1942, that defending oblique lines on the map, was not worth the sacrifices, and they adopted a tactic of withdrawal and concentrating defense on cities and rivers. If that had been done, a German offensive in the summer of 1943 would have been most likely refought at Stalingrad, around the approaches o the Caucasus and around Voronezh. If the Soviets had been able to stand ground there, they could have opened up 1944 with a massive "Bagration" style operation. This would have obviously been high-risk thing, but possible with better trained troops and their vast reserves in both material and manpower.
    Any ideas on this?

    Regards
    mIRo
     
  3. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Dear Miro--thanks. No apoligies necessary--I most likely misread it. Let me give it some thought about the Stalingrad situation from the Russian point of view and I will get back with you here on it. Reason I dont answer tonight is because I have very little time from today till possible monday-due to being selected for jury duty.

    Also, this is a nice change to have this turned around-so to speak, because i'm not used to thinking about this in the Russians point of view. When I do post it, I will try to make it interesting in the least. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Dear Miro--thanks. No apoligies necessary--I most likely misread it. Let me give it some thought about the Stalingrad situation from the Russian point of view and I will get back with you here on it. Reason I dont answer tonight is because I have very little time from today till possible monday-due to being selected for jury duty.

    Also, this is a nice change to have this turned around-so to speak, because i'm not used to thinking about this in the Russians point of view. When I do post it, I will try to make it interesting in the least. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. Miro

    Miro Member

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    No problemo, I might actually do some reading on it, too. It might take me some time to reply thought since I am returning home on Wednesday, and it might take me a couple of days to kick my sister off the computer :rolleyes:
     
  6. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    I know what you mean--kick her off or tell her to get one of those eyeopener email things that were being advertised about a year ago.

    I'm going stir crazy as a jurer. We are on break till 9:00 PM, then we go in for another lousy hr then go home, makes sence; doesn't it?? N O T!! :mad: :mad:

    Anyway, I had not forgotten about the Russ point of view deal and I will be doing some reading during my breaks starting tomorrow. I'm just too tired to do any today.
     
  7. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    I know what you mean--kick her off or tell her to get one of those eyeopener email things that were being advertised about a year ago.

    I'm going stir crazy as a jurer. We are on break till 9:00 PM, then we go in for another lousy hr then go home, makes sence; doesn't it?? N O T!! :mad: :mad:

    Anyway, I had not forgotten about the Russ point of view deal and I will be doing some reading during my breaks starting tomorrow. I'm just too tired to do any today.
     
  8. De Vlaamse Leeuw

    De Vlaamse Leeuw Member

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    If they would have held it, then the Russians would have either been killed or captured.

    Than in 1943, the Germans would attack Astrachan and also send an army to attack Moscow from behind.
     
  9. Mustang

    Mustang Member

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    Not only if they could've held on to it, but if they'd continued farther south. Where a whole lot of oil is.......
     
  10. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    It would have made the war to last even more... After winter 1941 there was absolutely NO chance of winning the war in the East. It would only have allowed Heeresgruppe A to reach Baku and hold the petrol fields a little bit more and the situation in the South could have been improved.

    But it was a matter of time until the Soviets grew more powerful and give them the Germans a Stalingrad somewhere else...
     
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